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10 Football Stars Who Cancelled Real Madrid. And 10 Who Rejected Barca.

If it is Real Madrid or FC Barcelona waving with a lucrative offer and want to sign a player, then say the least footballers from the two football giants. Why? Barca and Real are the two most prestigious clubs in the world. A commitment with one of the two clubs represents the crowning glory of the players' career for many stars, if it works on the pitch.

In recent years, Barca and Real could therefore also commit the biggest football stars. The package of glory, honour and Bimbes (tax-free, low-taxed or garnished with tax tricks that go sometimes even wrong) usually led to success. The prospect of a possible failure, a permanent seat on the replacement bench, the notorious Bernabeu-Bite or the Barca-Failure did not deter.

But even if it is difficult for most fans to understand. There have been some situations in the last 20 years, as the love between Real /Barca on the one hand and the target player on the other was one-sided.

Pronounced on the part of the two club giants and much less pronounced on the part of the player.In the following post we tell the stories of 10 players Real Madrid followed but did not feel like switching to Real. And we tell the stories of 10 players who had no interest in FC Barcelona, ​​although Barca was more than interested.

Some of the players were comfortable in the situation that both Real and Barca were interested at the same time. There had to be a decision against one of the clubs.

Others preferred other clubs for different reasons. Be it because they did not feel ready for the move, or thought they were already too old. Be it because they were satisfied with the then current club or this gave no release. Or is it because another club compensated for a lack of reputation through even more bimbes (in after-tax consideration) when Barca and / or Real were willing to pay.

We do not want to go into 2 stories because they are rather unbelievable. It is said that Real wanted to sign Lionel Messi in 2011. Messi was indispensable, aha. And the English “Sun” reported one day that “the Royal” Sergio Busquets of Barca wanted to iron. Facts and details are not available.Kylian Mbappe is currently the best “prospect” in the football world. Why? Kylian Mbappe is world class since he was 19 years old. 

In summer 2017, his former club, the AS Monaco, received a lucrative offer from Real Madrid. The French needed the Bimbes, agreed and accepted the terms of the contract. However, they left the final decision to the youngster.

And surprise. He did not want to go to Real Madrid but rather to Paris. And not because of love. Goodbye to a dream club.

The only question is for how long. Many observers of the scene consider a quick change to the Royal for a foregone conclusion. CR7 is gone, Gareth Bale performs only moderately and when it exaggerates the control freak Thomas Tuchel in Paris, then the change to the Iberian Peninsula could come faster than expected. However, the goal can also be Barca?


Decision regretted? Not yet.

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? Probably not


After Juventus had massively bribed in Serie A and therefore was relegated to Serie B, many of the top stars left the club.

But superstar Alessandro Del Piero said he would never leave his favorite club. Although he was on top of the list of cravings at some other European clubs.

Fast forward to the year 2012 and we see the long-time player advisor of del Piero, as he explains, that “Pinturicchio” in his young years also had offers from ManU and Barca.

But – no way José. The heart of del Piero hung on Juve, even if he could have earned much more in England and Spain. Sometimes money is not everything.

Decision Regretted? Emotionally not
Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No


In early summer 2014, it was pretty clear that Luis Suarez would trade Liverpool for a (then) better club.

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona both vied for the player. During the 2014 World Cup, the Uruguayan then turned out as a biter.

The result – a pretty long lock. Barca did not care. And Real kept trying to sign the super striker.

Suarez opted for the Catalans, not without thanking Barca during the suspension and mentioning that Barca had always been his favourite club. Almost the dream club since early childhood.

Decision regretted? Nope

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? Yep

Money makes the world go round. Thiago Silva is a good example of this. Because it is no secret that the Brazilian was a fan favourite of Barca since his early youth.

All the more shocking for the fans of the Catalans, that he refused 2 times an offer of the Catalans. Later, Silva admitted that one of the toughest decisions in his life was not to go to Barcelona.

But on the one hand, he would have to provide for a family and on the other hand, he believed he believed in the move to France to the project Paris Saint Germain.

So he did not hesitate in 2012, when the French lured with a lot of money and very good contract terms.

Decision regretted? This may well be. He was not that succesful

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No


Real Madrid wanted to sign the England icon twice. In 2004 Zinedine Zidane gave the tip.

But Gerrard declined and preferred to move to Liverpool. No bad move: 1 year later he won the Champions League.

In 2010 there was the second attempt by Real Madrid. But Gerrard preferred to remain captain at Anfield. Even if the club were quite unsuccessful at that time – measured by Real Madrid.

In addition, Gerrard felt with 30 years already as a bit too old for a move to Spain. So winning the UCL was the only really big international title of the British. That could have been better in Madrid.

Decision regretted? Emotionally not, but …..
Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No

Atletico Madrid secured in 2014 the services of the skinny Frenchman Antoine Griezmann, who had previously played for Real Sociedad San Sebastian.

After the departure of Neymar came rumours that Griezmann should replace the Brazilian at Barca. And for a while, Gringuito did not seem to know whether to stay with Atletico or break into new shores.

Griezmann did it in a similar way to LeBron James in his “The Decision” movie and explained by video that he would continue to play at Atletico.

Whether this will be permanent, is doubtful. Both Barca and Real Madrid are still interested in the World Champion.

Decision regretted? Not yet

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? Not clear

As Juventus Turin in consequence of Calciopoli – that was the manipulation scandal – in 2006 had to descend into Serie B, players like Gianluigi Buffon, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Fabio Cannavaro and Emerson were very popular with other clubs.

But while the last three Juve left, Buffon, who was then considered the best goalkeeper in the world, remained with Juve.

Since Real Madrid could attract with so much money. No chance. Juve left the decision to the goalie, who decided against a change.

Juve rose after a year in Serie B again. And Buffon won everything with the “old lady”. Only not the Champions League. This should work with Paris now. When old men dream, it becomes dangerous.

Decision regretted? This may well be

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No

In the summer of 2003, David Beckham was at Manchester United actually set. The team had just become English champion.

But the relationship of Becks to Alex Ferguson had already deep cracks. ManU then agreed in the summer of 2003 with Barca on a transfer. Beckham was on vacation at the time and probably not informed.

Upon his return, he was informed and shocked. Especially since he had already made clear to the ManU bosses that he – if anything – only wanted to switch to Real Madrid.

The club gave way and the deal was finalized within a few days. Beckham was not happy and really successful in Madrid. And right outside, he was rarely allowed to play. Luis Figo was better.

Decision regretted? Most certainly
Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? Yep

After a brilliant season in Sevilla, both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona vied for Ivan Rakitic, the Swiss Croats whose talent everyone saw, but not FC Schalke 04 (and certainly not Felix Magath).

Rakitic chose Barca. Two years later, Real Madrid again vied for the midfielder and sent the Croatian teammate Luca Modric.

But just as in the first attempt Rakitic preferred FC Barcelona. Would he have been more successful at Real than at Barca?

Hardly possible. But Modric and Rakitic would be a super duo.

Decision regretted? Not yet

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No

The biggest defeat of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his footballer life was the disaster he experienced at FC Barcelona under Pep Guardiola.

Accordingly, Ibra wanted as quickly as possible away from Pep and Barca negotiated with Milan on a sale. Barca also wanted to get rid of the annoying Swede.

The idea of Cleverle Guardiola was a parcel business. On the one hand Andrea Pirlo should switch to Barca. And on the other hand Ibra should go to Milan.
During a friendly match between the two clubs, Pep discussed the deal with the architect. But he did not want to.

And since Ibra wanted to Milan anyway, they decided to exchange the package for a simple sale of Ibra. The result: a big transfer loss for Barca. Since Ibra was somehow cleverer.

Decision regretted? Yep

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No

In 2005, Roy Keane – nickname Mr. Schizo, was just 1 year from his resignation. Since he suddenly received an offer from Real Madrid.

According to “the man himself”, he was sitting on the toilet (with a telephone of course) when he received the call from Spain.

Keane claims to quickly abdicate, but later admitted that he had regretted the decision in retrospect. But Keane was already 34 years old.

A bit of sadness not to have just tried it, speaks from his later statements. Even if he would rather have found his place on the substitute bench than in the starting XI.

Decision regretted? It seems so

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No

After two seasons at Leeds United, Rio Ferdinand quickly fell to the radar of the big European clubs.

The Briton chose Manchester United, which was not a wrong decision. So he could stay in England, earn well and still have success.

Chelsea, Roma and Barca were at the end of time in Leeds also behind the British ago. Ferdinand was quite intent on leaving England.

But in the end, it was probably primarily a heart decision paired with a certain frugality and lack of ambition. Or the wise realization that an angular British filigree defender would not necessarily fit the Tiki Taka play structure of Barca.

Decision regretted? No

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No

Real Madrid wanted to sign Neymar at least twice. And maybe they still want to. After the departure of CR7, Neymar would be a logical substitute. Theatrically, both can cry equally well.

The first cancellation Real Madrid caught in 2006. Neymar was just 13 years old and Real wanted to sign him up for the Real Academy.

Seven years later, the Royal were part of a bidding contest for the Brazilian, which FC Barcelona won.

As a reason, he gave purely footballing reasons. Well then.

Decision regretted? No

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? Yes

His achievements at Olympique Marseille in 2005 – 2007 finally brought Franck Ribery the interest of all major clubs in Europe.

What moved him in 2007 to change to FC Bayern München and not, for example, to FC Barcelona, nobody really knows.

The money cannot have been, because after taxes he should have been able to earn much more in Spain.

Nevertheless – Ribery feels well in Munich, he was successful too. And with +35 years he is still one of the pillars of the team. If only there were not the glass bones and the many injuries.

Decision regretted? No

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No

You hardly believe it. But there was a time when Patrick Vieira wanted to stay at Arsenal London.

In 2004, Arsenal and Real Madrid had already negotiated a deal when the Frenchman stopped the negotiations. Vieira later claimed it was a heart's decision. Elsewhere, he admitted he simply had not dared.

Too early, too inexperienced. It all sounds pretty half-baked. For a season later he moved to Juventus.

Also a heart decision, as he later said. And it seems as if he regretted the cancellation of Madrid in retrospect. Because, he said, if he had known in the summer of 2004 that he would leave Arsenal in the direction of Juve in 2005, he might have voted Real Madrid in 2004.

Decision regretted? Yep

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No

As a striker from Olympique Lyon Karim Benzema was so successful that just before his move to Real Madrid, the Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona and Inter Milan wanted to sign the French. 

Real Madrid has always been Benzema's favourite club. Therefore, it did not take long to decide for the offer from the Spanish capital.

In various interviews, he nevertheless emphasized how difficult it had been for him to have rejected Barca's offer.

Various championship titles, but above all the successes in the Champions League should have made the decision but easy. Regret? Rather not.

Decision regretted? Not yet

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No

Francesco Totti is one of the few players who have rejected both. An offer from Barca and an offer from Real Madrid.

Totti had previously announced that he would only swap Roma for a move to Real Madrid. Madrid tried at least 3 times to sign the Italian. And Florentino Perez led Totti repeatedly as his dream transfer.

But nothing ever came of that. Successful would have been worth a change for Totti certainly. More national titles, international titles. Eventually also the Ballon d'Or.

But his loyalty to his home club was always in the foreground for the “Emperor of Rome”. A “no bimbes” man.

Decision regretted? Emotionally not, but…

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? Yep

After several super-seasons at Ajax Amsterdam Dennis Bergkamp was one of the biggest goals of European clubs. And that for several years.

For the “Prime Time” of Bergkamp Johan Cruyff, who had an excellent relationship with the Dutch compatriot, coached Barcelona. And King Johan also tried to convince the Dutchman to change.

But Bergkamp decided to switch to Inter Milan to Italy. Not a good decision. In the Serie A, he could not cope.

Therefore, the contract with Inter was immediately dissolved. But even then it was not to Spain but to England to Arsenal London. He was able to take the ferry home. Bergkamp had a hell of a fear of flying. No joke.

Decision regretted? Not yet

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No

During his time at Manchester United between 2011 and 2012, Paul Pogba was considered a giant flop. During his time at Juventus from 2012 to 2016, he was considered one of the best midfielders in the world.

No wonder Real Madrid 2016 was interested in a commitment. And Pogba also wanted to leave Juve.

But not to join Real Madrid or FC Barcelona, but to wipe his gap at ManU.

But in his mid-20s it is not out of the question that Pogba will one day land on the Iberian Peninsula. Especially since the relationship with ManU is a bit tense.

Decision regretted? Not yet

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? No

In 2009 it was pretty clear that Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to leave ManU and England. Bad food, too much rain, too few successes.

Real Madrid, Inter Milan and FC Barcelona made contact. And although the offers from Inter and Barca were not bad, CR7 chose Real Madrid.

The football history would have been very different, if CR7 and Lionel Messi had stood in a team and would not have been eternal rivals. Maybe it would have become terribly boring in international club football. Anyway, CR7 does not regret his decision for Madrid and against Barca.

Perhaps more the decision to switch to Juve. Let's see

Decision regretted? Nope

Did Real and Barca want to sign him at the same time? Yep

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